Speed Post News Network

New Delhi: India continues to scale several peaks in its fight against the COVID19 pandemic. As the country readies for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has been pro-actively involved in the preparations for it over the past couple of months to ensure that the preparations are on track, in close collaboration with the States/UTs and other stakeholders.

In a massive nationwide exercise on January 2, 2021, an end-to-end mock drill on the vaccine administration was conducted in all States and UTs at  286 session sites spread across 125 districts. Each District conducted the dry run at three sites or more which included a public health facility (District Hospital/Medical College), Private Health Facility, and rural or urban outreach sites.

All the State and District officials were trained on the Operational Guidelines and  for conducting the dry-run. This dry run was aimed at testing the laid out mechanisms for COVID-19 vaccination rollout in the health system and to assess operational feasibility of using Co-WIN application in field environment for planning, implementation, and reporting at the block, district and state level.  The dry run was also conducted to familiarise the State, District, Block and Hospital level officers on all aspects of COVID-19 rollout, according to a PIB release.

The States/UTs conducted the dry run from 9 am across the country in a seamless manner. The activities starting from beneficiary data upload, session site allocation and micro planning, vaccine allocation, session site management with test beneficiaries, reporting mechanism etc. were covered in this one day dry run to execute the nearest possible simulation of the actual day.

The preparation to handle any Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) at all session sites and functionality of the Call Centers was also tested.  The dry run was supervised by the District collectors. This dry run ended with debriefing meetings at district and the state level to discuss the issues and challenges encountered during the day. MoHFW was in constant touch with the States throughout the day to seek feedback on their experience. The States/UTs have expressed complete satisfaction on the successful conduct of the dry run which included the operational process and its linkages with the Co-WIN Software.

The Co-WIN software has been developed by MoHFW for real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries for COVID-19 vaccine.  This software will assist the programme managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification, and a digital certificate will be generated on successful completion of the vaccine schedule.  More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered on Co-WIN software till date.

The cold chain infrastructure is sufficient to ensure last mile delivery of COVID-19 vaccine in a temperature controlled environment across the country. Sufficient supplies of syringes and other logistics have also been ensured to begin COVID-19 vaccination drive. Around 1,14,100 vaccinators have been trained on the process to be followed at the vaccination sites which includes beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain and logistics management, Bio-Medical Waste management, AEFI management, and uploading the information on Co-WIN software.